Love is not divisible. Genuine love of God implies love of neighbor and self. Genuine love of neighbor and self can come only out of a love of God. Even in the most vindictive, inconsiderate, domineering person, we are called to see God. Beneath the sin and ugliness, everyone mirrors at least some of the attributes of God: free, intelligent, capable of the highest love. Even if that freedom has been enslaved or that intelligence is clouded by physical, emotional, or moral obstacles, that person is still full of potential.
Christ brought new dignity to human nature by the union of the divine and the human. In the one person of Christ, human nature is inseparably and forever united to God. Christ did not add anything to human nature. Rather he made visible the love that had never changed.
—from the book Live Like Francis: Reflections on Franciscan Life in the World
✞ "Faith and love are like the blind man's guides. They will lead you along a path unknown to you, to the place where God is hidden." — St. John of the Cross
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Therefore, when God gives spiritual comfort, receive it with thanksgiving, but know that it is the bounty of God, not thy merit. Be not puffed up, be not overjoyed, nor vainly presume, but rather be the more humble for this gift and the more cautious and fearful in all thine actions; for this hour will pass away and temptation will follow. When comfort shall be taken away from thee, do not presently despair; but wait with humility and patience for the heavenly visit, for God is able to restore thee a greater consolation. This is no new thing, nor strange to those who have experienced the ways of God: for the great saints and ancient prophets have often felt this kind of variety." — Thomas à Kempis, p. 64 AN EXCERPT FROM Imitation of Christ
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name. When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them." Psalm 91:14-15
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Saint of the Day for October 18
(d. c. 84)
Luke wrote one of the major portions of the New Testament, a two-volume work comprising the third Gospel and Acts of the Apostles. In the two books he shows the parallel between the life of Christ and that of the Church. He is the only Gentile Christian among the Gospel writers. Tradition holds him to be a native of Antioch, and Paul calls him "our beloved physician." His Gospel was probably written between 70 and 85 A.D.
Luke appears in Acts during Paul's second journey, remains at Philippi for several years until Paul returns from his third journey, accompanies Paul to Jerusalem, and remains near him when he is imprisoned in Caesarea. During these two years, Luke had time to seek information and interview persons who had known Jesus. He accompanied Paul on the dangerous journey to Rome where he was a faithful companion.
Luke's unique character may best be seen by the emphases of his Gospel, which has been given a number of subtitles: 1) The Gospel of Mercy 2) The Gospel of Universal Salvation 3) The Gospel of the Poor 4) The Gospel of Absolute Renunciation 5) The Gospel of Prayer and the Holy Spirit 6) The Gospel of Joy
Luke wrote as a Gentile for Gentile Christians. His Gospel and Acts of the Apostles reveal his expertise in classic Greek style as well as his knowledge of Jewish sources. There is a warmth to Luke's writing that sets it apart from that of the other synoptic Gospels, and yet it beautifully complements those works. The treasure of the Scriptures is a true gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church.
Beloved: Demas, enamored of the present world, deserted me and went to Thessalonica, Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Luke is the only one with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is helpful to me in the ministry. I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, the papyrus rolls, and especially the parchments.
Alexander the coppersmith did me a great deal of harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. You too be on guard against him, for he has strongly resisted our preaching.
At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 145:10-11, 12-13, 17-18 R. (12) Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD, and let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom and speak of your might. R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. Making known to men your might and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages, and your dominion endures through all generations. R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. The LORD is just in all his ways and holy in all his works. The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth. R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Alleluia See Jn 15:16 R. Alleluia, alleluia. I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 10:1-9
The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this household.' If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, 'The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.'"
Meditation: Luke 10:1-9
Saint Luke, Evangelist (Feast)
Ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. (Luke 10:2)
What do you think it means to labor for the Lord's harvest? Is Jesus talking only about the "harvest" at the end of time? Probably not. Since today is the feast of St. Luke, let's look at his Gospel for some insight.
Some people have suggested that Luke was a doctor; others say he was a painter. Either way, he was surely a traveling missionary with St. Paul (Acts 16:11-15). As he went from town to town preaching the gospel, Luke saw many people experience the kingdom of God in the here and now. These new converts were clearly part of the "harvest" Jesus had spoken about (Luke 10:2). And so, when he sat down to write his own "orderly sequence" about Jesus, Luke placed a special emphasis on people's experience of the kingdom (1:3).
For example, Luke tells of Jesus raising a little girl from the dead (Luke 8:40-56). He tells the story of ten lepers being miraculously delivered from their disease (17:11-19). And there's the story of a widow from the town of Nain, who receives her son back from the dead (7:11-16).
Luke also provides many more examples of people experiencing the kingdom of God through their own salvation. There is Zacchaeus, who comes down from a tree and promises to make amends for his acts of extortion (19:1-10). There is the woman known as a sinner who anoints Jesus' feet and is told that her faith has saved her (7:36-50). And there is the timeless parable of the prodigal son (15:11-32). So many people who have joined the harvest!
The kingdom of God is for us too—here and now! How have you experienced it? Maybe God has set you free from fear or helped heal a wounded relationship. Maybe you have felt his closeness while at Mass or during a parish Bible study. Maybe you touched his mercy in Confession. How blessed we are to experience the kingdom in these ways—and so many more!
So do you want to help Jesus bring in the harvest? It's not as hard as it may seem. Just follow St. Luke's example and share your story with the people around you.
"Come, Jesus, Lord of the harvest. I am ready; send me!"
2 Timothy 4:10-17 Psalm 145:10-13, 17-18
Paul exclaims "...the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed". And you? What do you want strength for? Because our strength in the Lord should be to work for the Lord. Labor, laboring in pain, sweat, and tears, and blood, all things that give Glory to God. But the Lord loves a cheerful giver. When you labor...do not complain! Should a husband have a long day at work, come home tired and complain and be waited on hand and foot? LOL, well, that's kind of how things are, in some cultures. I remember I used to have to massage my dad's feet after work (and after his shower) then we'd pray the rosary or vice versa. But I did not hear him complain to us about work and having to work...as if we were a burden to him. We are in this together...this whole Kingdom thing.
We pray today "Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD, and let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom and speak of your might." My friend always comes through. My friend is faithful and true. I speak of my friend in the Blessed Sacrament who hears my heart and speaks to my heart. It is the Lord, it is Jesus. My life shall be a blessing to Him and for Him. Shall I ever make the Lord feel like a burden? Shall I complain about the cross He shows me to carry? No, because I honor my friend and owe Him everything...
In comes the Lord of our lives: "Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves." Ahh...ok? My friend sends me off like a little lamb among hungry wolves? Can a lamb survive? Wait a minute. Who said you were a little lonely lamb? Lambs have to eat where wolves are lurking sometimes. The Good Shepherd is with us, watching. Be shrewd, but like a lamb. A lamb that provides for the world, everything we need: companionship, wool/clothes, and even food...itself. In this world I live in, the harvest is huge. I am overwhelmed at the work. As a comparison: This festival I headed up was overwhelming, a daunting task. And the toughest part? Of all the issues I had to tackle, the ones I still carry are the workers didn't seem to want to work. I have to understand them and their problems, when I would like to be understood and the mountain of my own problems. To this day, the issue I debate is this, how can I have had made things better? I am not perfect. What I want is unity, in all of us, and when I feel disunity, it rattles me. I guess it is the evil one trying to get under one's skin. I forget Dr. Killjoy is always lurking like a wolf. I forget I am a lamb, trusting in the Good Shepherd. I been telling a brother having issues in another town with another brother in church "you need to be humble and invite them to eat and iron things out because I love both of you and look up to both of you". It is hard when you only have a few workers and those few workers fight and do not unite. It only gets harder, and one quits and the laborers are even fewer.
What's the point? This whole labors and harvest thing is about each and every one of us. We make a difference, a big one, when we all do our part. Jesus isn't just narrowing things down, but making things broader, thus, the gates to Heaven being availed to every soul that will have ears to hear, eyes to see, and a heart to love. Cure the sick and proclaim the Good News. I asked the Lord in my mind before writing to you "what is the Kingdom of Heaven like?" The last words of the Gospel repeated themselves "'The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.'" God's Kingdom is here in ways we can not see. But He sees. He catches every tear drop, counts the drops of blood poured out for Him. He sees what others can not. He hears everything. It is possible to do all this in Him.
We'd like to think of Heaven as a place of relaxation and vacation. But, if this life is any clue of what is to come...more is to come. Be prepared and strive for what is to come. Because if the Lord says "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." He says immediately after: "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.…" Rest does not mean to stop work, but to stop living for self, and start living for Him. When there is a true peace and grace in your life, you have Jesus. The wolves will try to tear into it and try to tear it apart, but you can not be shaken. Passion. After this labor, perhaps He will say "'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' MORE IS TO COME!